Connecticut

Fentanyl found in marijuana after overdoses

PLYMOUTH, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut officials believe nearly 40 drug overdoses across the state since July may be linked to marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl and are warning the public about the potential danger.

State health officials said marijuana seized in Plymouth after an overdose in early October tested positive for fentanyl at the state crime lab.

“This is the first lab confirmed case of marijuana with fentanyl in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States,” Dr. Manisha Juthani, the state’s public health commissioner, said in a statement Thursday.

State officials had been investigating reports of people across Connecticut who overdosed and were revived with naloxone, but denied using opioids. They told authorities they only smoked marijuana.

There were 11 such overdoses in July, nine in August, nine in September and 10 from Oct. 1 to Oct. 26. No deaths were reported.

Brian Foley, an aide to state public safety Commissioner James Rovella, said the state crime lab will now be testing all marijuana that police submit for fentanyl.

An estimated 1 00,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in a recent one-year period, a never-before-seen milestone that health officials say is tied to the COVID-19 pandemic and a more dangerous drug supply.